Making stock from scratch is something that I’ve been doing for a while. It’s not as hard as you might think and the flavor is so much better than what you can buy at the store. It’s also very affordable because it’s a great way to use up vegetables that aren’t at their prime anymore and for beef broth, I use inexpensive neck bones. You also know exactly what’s in the stock and can control the amount of salt that goes into it.
When I make stock, I make a BIG batch, I usually end up with 8 or 9 quarts. That way I only have to make a batch every couple of months and have plenty on hand whenever I need it. In order to be able to make that much stock at once, I bought a big 16 quart stock pot. I bought it at Sam’s club in the restaurant supply section and it was only about $30, which was well worth it. It has more than paid for itself with all of the money I’ve saved making my own stock.
The secret to getting a really richly flavored beef stock is to roast your bones first. It only takes about 30 minutes and it makes all the difference in the world. Other than that, it’s the same method as making chicken stock.
- 3-4 lbs beef neck bones, with the meat
- 3-4 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
- 3-4 carrots, cut into large pieces
- 1-2 onions, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 bulb garlic, skin removed and slightly crushed
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1-2 tbsp salt
- handful of fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put neck bones on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until they are browned.
Meanwhile, prep vegetables and put in a large stockpot (I use a 16 qt pot). Add bones once they’re browned and fill the pot with water. Stir in salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover pot, allowing steam to escape. Simmer for at least 3 hours. The longer you simmer, the better it gets.
When stock is done simmering, remove veggies and bones from the pot. Refrigerate to allow fat to congeal so that you can skim it off (overnight is best). Skim fat off the top and for a really clear, low-fat broth, line a colander with a clean kitchen towel and strain broth into a large bowl.
Ladle into storage containers and freeze.
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